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Any takers for stressed assets? Lenders struggle to find new owners for steel firms that have become unprofitable due to recession. Aggressive lending to companies a few years back has forced banks to put Rs. 2.04 lakh crore stressed corporate loans under special dispensation schemes for refinance or a change in management for a strategic debt restructuring. Cover Story explores how a year has passed since the SDR mechanism was formed to lessen stressed assets, but banks are facing problems in getting buyers or reasonable valuation for the assets. Feature: In sharp contrast to the softening of steam coal prices, seaborne met coal prices firmed up in April, indicating good spot demand from coke makers and steel producers. Also, restricted suppliers by miners contributed to the firm trend in prices. Feature: Ferro alloy prices remained volatile in April 2016 on selective procurement. A revival in demand in the domestic market, combined with furnace shutdowns in 2015, meant the Indian manganese ferro alloys market is tighter and Indian ferro alloy producers have tried to take full advantage of the low manganese ore inventory scenario. Interview: India is marginally better placed globally. Government measures could reduce imports by 50%. Because of excess capacity, the only geographies from where demand could emanate are South East Asia and Middle East. And, hopefully, the present hike in prices will sustain at least for the next 6 months, feels Sushim Banerjee, Director General, INSDAG. Also watch out for our regular sections on coking coal prices, ferro alloys and corporates.

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